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Dickie Thompson won’t seek 3rd term on Raleigh City Council. ‘It’s been a blessing.’

Raleigh City Council members, including Dickie Thompson, left, and Stef Mendell, get a firsthand look at the bikes for the Raleigh Bikeshare in this file photo.
Raleigh City Council members, including Dickie Thompson, left, and Stef Mendell, get a firsthand look at the bikes for the Raleigh Bikeshare in this file photo. ajohnson@newsobserver.com

Raleigh City Council member Dickie Thompson will not seek a third term as North Raleigh’s representative.

Every seat on the eight-person council is up for grabs this fall, with all the current members but Thompson and Mayor Nancy McFarlane saying they will run again. Filing for the Oct. 8 municipal election starts at noon Friday and lasts for two weeks.

“I’m at peace with it,” Thompson said Tuesday. “I feel honored more than anything else to represent North Raleigh and this city. It’s been a blessing to me.”

It was a trio of milestones — turning 65, celebrating 40 years of marriage to his wife, Angie, and the birth of his first grandchild — and prayerful consideration that pushed him toward not running for his District A seat again.

“Both of my grandfathers died at early ages so I never knew them, and although I had a wonderful father, I missed not having a grandfather,” he said. “I want to spend more time with my grandson and family.”

His family construction business, J.M. Thompson Co, has also grown and requires more of his time, he said. His son Travis is the fourth generation to work at the company and “it’s special,” Thompson said, for them both to work together.

Dickie Thompson-A
Dickie Thompson

Among his achievements, he points to the city buying naloxone for police officers to use in drug overdoses as something he’s most proud of his.

He knows the heartache of losing someone.

“My daughter died from a drug overdose, and I worked with the city manager and our police chief to make sure our police officers were equipped with Narcan (naloxone) where they weren’t before,” he said. “And the chief has told me herself that they have saved many lives because of that.”

There’s a perception that council members don’t like one another, Thompson said, but added that’s not the case for him. If people disagree with him, they disagree until the vote, after which he puts it behind him.

“When it’s over, it’s over,” he said. “We shake hands and we move on. We have to be that way. We can’t let hard feelings get in the way of moving the city forward.”

He urged anyone interested in his seat to understand the commitment and long hours it will take.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of our great city and especially North Raleigh,” he said. “I am proud of my relationship with our mayor and all the council members. I have great respect for them and the sacrifices they make to their professional and family lives to be public servants.”

At least two people — Patrick Buffkin and Sam Hershey — have announced they are seeking the District A seat.

Thompson plans to remain active in civic matters, including serving the rest of his term, but said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family, business and getting back to his mission work at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church.

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Anna Johnson covers Raleigh and Wake County for the News & Observer. She has previously covered city government, crime and business for newspapers across North Carolina and received many North Carolina Press Association awards, including first place for investigative reporting. She is a 2012 alumna of Elon University.
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